Expats love Australia but worry about discrimination

Published:  28 Mar at 6 PM
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A recently-released social study has revealed that migrants recently arrived in Australia love their new lives but are experiencing racial discrimination.

The survey, carried out by Monarsh University in Melbourne, found that, although the vast majority of expats are happy to be in Australia, racism does exist in some communities. Discrimination was most felt amongst New Zealanders, with 26 per cent of those surveyed stating they had been victims of racially-motivated comments.

In general, migrants from Asian countries were the most discriminated against at 40 per cent, with 37 per cent of those from African countries having experienced racism. UK immigrants suffered the least at 12 per cent, and 25 per cent of respondents from Europe, the USA and Canada had experienced discrimination, as had those from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Over 2,000 highly educated, skilled migrants were quizzed on their engagement with Australian society and their feelings about assuming an Australian identity as well as their contacts with their home countries. The study forms part of a social cohesion survey, the largest such dealing with culturally diversity and attitudes to immigration.

According to the survey’s results, 60 per cent of migrants thought of themselves as world citizens, although they still identified strongly with their countries of origin. However, 75 per of cent those from Sri Lanka and India were considered more likely to call themselves Australian against just 32 per cent of arrivals from New Zealand.

The majority of those surveyed kept in regular contact with friends and family in their home countries, with the advent of social media sites a strong influence. In conclusion, the authors of the study admitted that racial prejudice was the least desirable aspect noted in Australian behaviour towards immigrants, although they noted that social cohesion across the country was still at an acceptable level.
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